Skip to main content

Twelve Days of Giveaways DAY TEN with Barbara Silkstone!

Happy Friday! Today I'm excited to have mystery writer, Barbara Silkstone on our TENTH day of giveaways! Not only is she a great women's sleuth, she's funny! Be sure to leave a comment to be eligible to win a free ebook copy of her novel, London Broil!
The winner will be announced at the end of tomorrow's blog.

Marbles in the Medicine Chest

My second ex-husband or “Double-X” came equipped with a best friend, Andrew. They were two peas in a pod. Frick & Frack.  Joined at the hip. Andrew owned a chain of jewelry stores but never spent any time there. He and Double-X would water-ski eighteen hours a day using my house as a mini Club Med. Double-X and I had been married less than a year. I was still sensitive to his tender male ego and worried about making him feel less than manly by forcing him to live in my house on the bay. His friends descended on Friday and left on Sunday night. I reluctantly welcomed the gypsy troop of wandering water-skiers, but there was something slightly off with Andrew. At first I couldn’t put my finger on it.
After a particularly grueling day of sun and fun, Andrew, the jewelry store mogul, announced he had become a house painter. He placed ads, ordered business cards, and even bought himself painters’ jumpsuits for his skinny little body. And soon he had customers. I was intrigued.
It was the Sunday before Christmas. Double X, Andrew, and the gypsies were getting ready to water-ski. I sat next to Andrew on my dock. “Why did you start painting houses?” I asked. The skinny little toad looked me right in the eye and said, “People leave me alone in their homes all day while I paint. I like going through their drawers and closets. I find the most interesting things.”
I shuddered. Andrew made my skin crawl.
Now his new profession made sense. It always rankled me whenever Andrew used the potty at my house, he would always wander into the master bathroom. I’d gently suggest he use the guest bath or the powder room. It soon became a contest between us. He’d stand as if heading for the bathroom, and I’d dash to body-block my bedroom door.  
Double-X looked like a storm cloud had settled on his face when I told him what I’d learned about Andrew’s Paint & Snoop business.  “Andrew’s just joking.  He paints walls because he likes the exercise,” Double X said. I could see this chat was not going to lead to any great reformation.
I took a firm stance, “I don’t want Andrew to use our master bedroom bath. He’s snooping in my private girl stuff.  He’s looking in our medicine chest.”
Double-X puffed up to twice his size. “Andrew would never snoop. He would never look in our medicine chest. You’re paranoid.”
“We’ll see.”
The next Saturday while Andrew and Double-X were out and about setting up for a water-ski event to be held at the house, I swung into action. I purchased two bags of glass marbles…kids’ marbles. I cleared out the medicine chest, and oh so carefully filled one shelf with both bags of marbles. Shelving marbles is very challenging work. The technique takes great eye-hand coordination, a skill I lack. It took me two hours of rabid concentration along with an invention made of cardboard and two teaspoons. After countless tries, fueled by my desire to prove Andrew was snooping, I finally loaded the medicine chest with both bags of marbles.
I placed a baby monitor on the bathroom counter behind a decorative plant. The speaker end of the monitor sat on a patio coffee table in the middle of the gypsies’ drinks. No one noticed it as they sat and sipped, apr├Ęs-ski.
The time came for Andrew to prowl. He got up and headed to my master bedroom. I faked a blocking move so he wouldn’t get suspicious, but let him gain access to my bathroom.
Turning up the volume on the baby monitor receiver, I sat down with the guests, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. The sound of piddle, then a flush, called the gypsies to attention. They looked high, they looked low, and they looked at their drinks. They scratched their heads. Double-X frowned.
Just as all eyes zeroed in on the baby monitor speaker, one hundred glass marbles hit the granite bathroom counter with a confirming clatter.
Never underestimate a Woman Sleuth. J

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of The Fractured Fairy Tales series that currently includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs, and London Broil. Coming soon: Cold Case Morphs.
For further giggles and a touch of true fiction try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men and One Woman.
Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

Barbara Silkstone loves to hear from her readers.
You can write to her at:

Blog:  Barbara Silkstone     
Barbara Silkstone’s Amazon Author’s page


  1. Thank you, Tonya. Lovely to be here. Watch those marbles. :)

    1. You are so awesome! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love your books. Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi, Jill! Her books are super fabulous and funny! So glad you stopped by!

  3. Jill,
    Thank you. Remember my tips for stuffing marbles in your medicine chest. You never know when you may need to do it.


  4. I loved London Broil - a great, fun mystery! :)

  5. I just got the first book for free and look forward to reading it soon!! I enjoyed your story about the marbles and the snoopy friend of the ex. Thanks for the good laugh this morning! :)

    1. Saralyn, she is so much fun! I know you will love reading her series!

  6. What a great post. Barbara, I see where you get material for your books. This is just like a chapter out of London Broil - both funny and sleuthy. - (is that a word?).

    1. Georgina! We can so make up our own words ;)

  7. Oh my gosh, that made me laugh so hard! It reminds me of something I would do...I've always been the Nancy Drew in my family. I love building up to the "gotcha" scene :) Thank you so much for sharing your story! I just picked up your book...thank you for the freebie! I look forward to reading it!

  8. I'm glad you all like the Marbles in the Medicine Chest. It's been years and I can still hear the ping, ping, ping. Gotcha!

  9. terrific excerpt. I want to read the rest.
    Please enter me in the drawing.

  10. Jeff, I'm laughing. That's a true story. Not an excerpt. I'm a bit of a prankster. I do use my life experiences to inspire my stories. I think you will love the part in London Broil where Wendy is held captive over a fish 'n' chips shop. She deals with that in typical Wendy style. :)

  11. Wonderful, Barb! I'm still laughing! Did this episode lead to Double-X becoming X? (Sorry, I'm being as nosy as Andrew!)

  12. Gerry,
    Yes... He became Double-X for many reasons. His devotion to Andrew was one. :)

  13. Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries Chapter One


“A campground?” I gulped back a good hissy fit, because no one could ever underestimate the power of a good hissy fit, something I’ve tried really hard not to do in years. “As in tiny little metal houses and port-a-potties?” ​ “Well, I think they have a toilet in them” said Stanley Shelton, my lawyer. He eased back in his big fancy, wingback leather chair with his elbows resting on the wooden arms and his fingers drumming against each other. The grey pinstriped suit was of the finest materials and the nice crystal cufflinks were the touch it needed that screamed successful lawyer. “I think the toilet is small, but you’re small.” He rubbed his hand over his bald head and then proceeded to draw his hand over his mustache and beard. ​ I tried as hard as I could to keep it together, but my composure was under attack. ​ “What about my house in the Hamptons? I’ll just go there.” I let out a sigh of relief. It was a perfect plan. “I’m desperately going to miss the New York City apartment, …

Dependable, Smart, and Caring!

Great Escapes Blog Tour for Ax to Grind by Tonya Kappes
Ax To Grind (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)by Tonya Kappes Ax To Grind (A Kenni Lowry Mystery) Cozy Mystery3rd in SeriesHenery Press (September 19, 2017) Paperback: 256 pages ISBN-13: 978-1635112474 E-Book ASIN: B0731M7RRM Southerners keep their secrets swept under the rug, but what happens when that rug goes up for sale? Bestselling author Berlye Stone, the most famous citizen to ever come out of Cottonwood, Kentucky, has died and put all her worldly possessions up for auction, but not without leaving one more manuscript behind. A hidden tell-all about Cottonwood that’s got more gossip than a ladies’ luncheon. When Beryle’s assistant turns up with an ax in her back and the only witness is in a coma, Sheriff Kenni Lowry reckons someone in town will do anything to keep the manuscript from seeing the light of day. Her poppa’s ghost returns to help piece together the life of the Beryle he once knew, but his memory’s a little foggy, and any misst…

Two Dames on a Mystery Train

The 2017 Two Dames on a Mystery Train started off with a fun ghost walk through the town of Lockport, NY. 
Be sure to check back for more fun train photos and check out the website!